Posts Tagged ‘Be Happy’

The day has finally arrived! Drive Time with Smashby is BACK!!

Today’s topic: Jealousy in the gym

How can you be less jealous of others around them, and how can you allow jealous people around you to effect you less?

I’d love it if you could take a few minutes to watch my video below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. Agree with me? Great. Why? Disagree? Let’s talk about it!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

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Earlier this week, Facebook showed me a picture that I shared a few years ago. It happens to be one of my favorite pictures of myself in existence, and it’s awesome for three main reasons:

  1. First, it was taken at my grandmother’s old house; the place where I fell in love with the water.
  2. Second, I was jacked and I knew it. You can totally see me ‘mirin’ them gainz.
  3. Third, is in the moment that picture was taken, my biggest worry in life was what we’d be having for dinner.

At that age I mostly ate, played, slept, and smiled. How AMAZING does that sound right now?!

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Unfortunately, most of us move away from that mindset as we get older. We’re less happy, more stressed, worry about what other people think, go into careers we don’t love, and we spend money on things we don’t need because we think they’ll make us happier. (News Flash: They usually don’t.) Wow, when I put it that way, adulthood doesn’t seem that fun. I have good news, though. It’s not too late for us to make simple changes that can make a profound impact on our overall quality of life!

Since I’m a visual person, I’ll share a quick list of things you can start doing today that will get you on your way to being happier more often:

  1. Identify 3 People that make you really happy
    • Make it your goal to interact with them at least once every two weeks. If they’re in the same city as you, schedule a lunch, dinner, or a walk on a weekend. If they’re not, schedule a time for a phone call of Facetime with them once every two weeks. Once a week becomes too hard to maintain for most of us, and once a month simply isn’t enough to connect with the people we love.
  2. Identify 3 Activities that make you really happy
    • Ideally, they’re activities that you can do with little preparation required. While SCUBA diving in the Maldives may have made you really happy, it’s unlikely that most people can just “up and go” to their favorite place. Instead, if being outside makes you happy, give yourself time to go for a walk or a hike every few weeks.
    • Do you like live music? It doesn’t need to cost you hundreds of dollars to travel across the country to see your favorite band. You don’t need to pay $50 for a ticket and then another $40 in service fees to go that big local venue, either. Most cities have free live music all over town, every night of the week. It just takes a little research and an open mind that’s excited to see new bands you’ve never seen before.
    •  Do you just like spending time with friends and unplugging for a few hours? That doesn’t need to look like a big expensive night out with a fancy dinner and cocktails. Have one of you pick one night per month where everyone gets together, brings one meal or side dish each, and you just sit around talking, playing games, and laughing together.
    • Pro Tip: To make this night even more special, try putting all cell phones in another room so everyone is more engaged. I’m working on getting better about this myself. Be. Present. More.
  3. Identify 3 Foods that make you really happy
    • As with the two sections above, this doesn’t need to be a seven-course steak dinner at Morton’s. Maybe you’re like me and love Macaroni and Cheese. Perhaps ice cream or raw cookie dough straight out of the fridge are treats that make you really happy. (Also me.) If you plan a meal that you really look forward to eating (maybe even cooking yourself), it can make the monotony of our “day to day” grind a bit more exciting.
    • For a lot of us, the foods that make us smile the most are the ones that we probably shouldn’t eat all the time. So, while I don’t want to call them “cheat meals” (since I think we should eat whatever we want, whenever we want, as long as we accept the outcome of those choices), I think indulging a little here and there is a required part of life!
    • Besides, if I ate tater tots and drank IPAs at every meal, they might not be as special for me all the time. They probably would be, but they might not!

By identifying these 9 simple things, I’m suggesting that you’ll live a happier life. The best part, is that every two or four or six months, you can reevaluate the list and change it up. You control how often you decide to go through this process!

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For me, the key is to try and PLAN FOR and SCHEDULE these things. If there’s one thing I’m learning the older I get is that if I wait until I “have time” to do something, it’ll never happen. We lived in simpler times when we were kids. Now that we’re older, if you schedule your fun like you schedule that conference call for work next Tuesday, you might find that you just start making time for more fun!

The sentence “Practice makes perfect” is a lie. Yet, humans say it all the time, and usually to children. It’s simply not a fact. There are a number of things I could practice on a daily basis and see only marginal improvements over a long period of time. Today, we’re going to talk about practice.

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Let’s start by discussing just two of the many factors that could impede reaching perfection. Age can play a role in one’s ability to find success in a particular area. While I’m not saying it’s impossible, I do feel confident saying that very few humans in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s could train and compete at an Olympic level in most sports. No matter how often grandpa hits the track, I don’t see him beating Usain Bolt in the 100m Sprint, I’m sorry. Genetics can also play a major role in one’s athletic development and potential. If a person isn’t over six feet tall or incredibly explosive, the odds of being able to dunk a basketball on a full-sized hoop are not very good. (I still think that’s a bucket list goal of mine, by the way!)

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Actual footage of me currently trying to dunk

Aside from age, genetics, and a long list of other things, that logic doesn’t even address what “perfection” even means. In nearly every discipline, sport, task, or skill, perfection is often a subjective term. What looks, sounds, or tastes perfect to you, may taste far from it to me. So why work to attain this a title or status they may very well be simply unreachable?

Instead, let’s change that first sentence (Practice makes perfect) just a little bit. What if it read, “Effective practice will almost always help you improve at a given task.” In that case, I think a lot more of us would nod our heads in agreement. While we typically associate the word practicing with activities and skills like sports, music, and languages, there are so many other things in our lives that can also be improved through dedicated time and focus.

Want to be a better weightlifter? Find a decent coach and get on a proven strength program. Then lift. Often. Want to feel and show more gratitude? Start each morning and end each night by writing a list of three things you’re grateful for in your life. Keep that journal close-by to remind yourself on days where you struggle. Want to read more? Instead of surfing on your phone before you go to bed, read 10 pages. Not only is it better for your eyes and your brain (to actually allow them to wind down after the day), but after only a few weeks, it will become part of your routine. You will likely get better at whatever activity you chose because you devoted time to practicing in order to get better at it.

I’ve been trying to read more, and even with the book on my nightstand, it hasn’t become high enough of a priority for me. That’s one thing I’m going to practice more! To help yourself be more accountable, what’s one thing you want to practice more often? Let’s continue to hold each other accountable and support one another in our quest to be better than we were yesterday!

When I saw the video below, it really made me stop and think. We’re each already REALLY GOOD at certain things. Choosing to practice and develop those things that make us happy drastically increases our chances of becoming really good at being happy. Similarly, choosing to practice things that make us sad, angry, or resentful, will likely make us really good at being sad, angry, or resentful. It’s so powerful to realize that it’s fully in our control to intentionally choose what we nurture in and for ourselves. Think about that for a second… Practice doesn’t make perfect. But devoting practice towards things that improve our lives can make a profound impact on who we are as people!